Jamie T: Trick review – out with sad-boy indie, in with street-poet singalongs


Pop might love a reinvention, but it was hard to get excited by the one attempted by Jamie Treays, AKA Jamie T, on 2014’s Carry on the Grudge. Gone were the gobby street-poet pronouncements of his first two, well received albums, replaced by something closer to introspective sad boy indie. Treays described that shift in style as “like tying my hand behind my back and trying to write with my left hand”, and at times it certainly felt like the work of an artist holding something back.

Trick, Treays’ fourth album, doesn’t entirely abandon his recent direction – string-laden album closer Self Esteem, for example, is as downbeat as anything attempted on Grudge – but it does reconcile it with the chipper tone and sense of musical adventure of his early work. Abrasive grime baselines (Tin Foil Boy) bounce against chirpy punk singalongs (Tescoland). As ever, so much depends on your tolerance for Treays’ desire to make “big statements” – the noise assault of Drone Strike feels a little too on-point – but this at least feels like Jamie T is being himself again.


Gwilym Mumford

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Lovebox review – Childish Gambino leads diverse corrective to Trump visit
While SZA was delayed by the Trump protests, other artists were energised – including Childish Gambino, who scaled up his music to unprecedented size

Natty Kasambala

16, Jul, 2018 @10:52 AM

Article image
Parklife review – rap, reggae and rave under gallons of northern rain
A younger crowd means older acts like Christine and the Queens and David Rodigan are ignored – but Mabel, Khalid and George Ezra get a huge response

Dave Simpson

10, Jun, 2019 @1:30 PM

Article image
Parklife festival review – Manchester turns night to day with punishing party energy
Liam Gallagher is incongruous, but prompts massive singalongs, while the xx and Confidence Man are other big successes

Daniel Dylan Wray

11, Jun, 2018 @12:44 PM

Article image
Jamie T review – indie scamp rapper makes a triumphal comeback
After four years away from the limelight, Jamie Treays gave a confident, unapologetic performance of some deep and weighty new material

Mark Beaumont

09, Oct, 2016 @1:04 PM

Article image
The best albums of 2017: the full list
St Vincent tops our countdown of this year’s most outstanding sounds, from complex rap to moody rock, alt-R&B, inventive grime and more

05, Dec, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
Oxide & Neutrino: how we made Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)
‘There was a rise in gun crime and garage was blamed. We went from being on Top of the Pops to not being able to play anywhere. Then I was shot’

Interviews by Dave Simpson

29, Jan, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
The 50 best albums of 2019: the full list
Our pick of the year’s finest albums brings American dreaming, teenage dynamism, heartbreak, barbed rap, impetuous indie and beautiful soundscapes

20, Dec, 2019 @9:41 AM

Article image
Five of the best... rock & pop gigs
Justin Bieber | Mø | Jamie T | Mabel | Kano

Emma Garland

07, Oct, 2016 @6:00 AM

Article image
The best albums of 2017 so far
From Richard Dawson’s medieval Britain to Pixx’s super-contemporary take on pop – plus sharp records by stars such as Kendrick Lamar and Drake – 2017 is already shaping up to be a great musical year

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

30, Jun, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
50 great tracks for March from Chvrches, Riko Dan, Machine Head and more
Check out Angolan kuduro, fluffy disco-funk and whimsical fingerpicking in this month’s roundup of the best new music. Subscribe to the playlist of all 50 tracks and read about our 10 favourites

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

07, Mar, 2018 @10:00 AM